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An unlettered ‘social elite’ amid literate dwarfs

P. Sujatha Varma
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MOBILE EDUCATION:Solmon Raju, cycle rickshaw-puller from Governorpet area, in his own small way, tries to enlighten public by converting his vehicle into a mobile education mode, in Vijayawada. —PHOTO: V. RAJU
MOBILE EDUCATION:Solmon Raju, cycle rickshaw-puller from Governorpet area, in his own small way, tries to enlighten public by converting his vehicle into a mobile education mode, in Vijayawada. —PHOTO: V. RAJU

Thoughtful gestures are never too small, too late, or too frequent. There would be no room to disagree on this count for those who have seen Solmon Raju’s cycle rickshaw moving around on city roads.

You can’t miss it even if you are in a hurry. The bold letters written in red ink “Stop and Read Me” prompts passers-by to pause for a closer look.

Words written on a cardboard hanging to the rear side of his cycle rickshaw are demonstration of the age-old adage “small gestures can have a big impact”.

The board with a white background, reads Police Mana Snehitulu (Police is our Friend).

Listed below are a few important phone numbers for public consumption such as Police Control Room (100), Fire Station (101), Ambulance (108), Childline (1098) and Mahila Helpline (181).

The space below has been utilised to remind the onlookers of the High Court verdict on mandatory removal of the black film on the glass of cars.

Quiz him on the trigger for such an innovation and pat comes the answer:

“God put us all in each others lives to make a difference. I am trying to do my bit. Traffic chaos is one of the key issues in Vijayawada city. Even elite sections show scant regard for traffic norms.

I want to make an appeal to people of this city through this display to abide by the rule book as it will make Vijayawada a better place to live in.”

The display board has also allocated space to highlight the banes of drunken driving and the need to impose heavy penalty for over-speeding of vehicles.

Another paper cutting talks about menace of beggary by street-children and calls for immediate measures to curb the practice.

This semi-literate, who dropped out of school after eighth class due to financial constraint, is by no less regard a ‘social elite’ who stands tall amidst the many well-educated dwarfs.

What more, taking a leaf out of Somon Raju’s book, yet another cycle rickshaw-puller is emulating him – spreading awareness on basic rules in a civil society through a similar board dangling to his vehicle. May the tribe grow and jazz up the city roads.


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